First, a medical doctor or nurse practitioner refers a patient to a RAC for LBP. Then the patient meets with an Advanced Practice Provider (APP) in their community. An APP is an experienced chiropractor, physiotherapist and/or a nurse practitioner (NP). During the appointment, the APP provides the patient with:
- A detailed and in-depth low back pain assessment in a timely manner
- Education about their condition
- An evidence-based plan they can follow to manage it
However, if the patient needs more advanced surgical assessment and management, the APP refers them to a RAC Practice Lead, who is within a hospital or family health team. Subsequently, this Practice Lead (who is also a chiropractor, physiotherapist or NP) can provide a more in-depth assessment, order images and/or provide a surgical referral, if required.
Ontario launched RACs in late 2017 and subsequently it expanded them across the province.